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I’m working hard to understand the emerging patterns of of how APIs used, work through the details, and grasp the differences in competing approaches--in hopes of identifying what is next when it comes to web APIs.

One trend I’m tracking on is the emergence of API scripting platforms. This is a difficult are to track on, because we script against APIs all the time, right? This is different. Scripting platforms are providing platforms and libraries to support easily scripting against multiple APIs.

To help me understand this new approach to using APIs I’m studying three separate approaches:

  • Webshell - Authentication, integration and scripting platform.
  • Temboo - Beyond code snippets, into ready-to-use processes, that simply API integration, taking care of authentication, credential management, updates and more
  • Google Apps ScriptsA JavaScript cloud scripting language that lets you extend Google Apps, integrate 3rd party services and build mobile and web applications.

All three of these platforms are bringing together valuable API resources, from multiple sources into not just a common interface, but providing a language library you can use to build apps efficiently across multiple API resources.

I’m still working to understand the nuances of each approach. For example, Google provides its JavaScript like, stripped down language, where Webshell focuses on JavaScript and CoffeeScript. Temboo provides ready to go processes or what they call choreos, with language SDKs in Java, Node.js, PHP, Ruby and Python.

Google Apps Script provides access to Google APIs and services, but recently opened up scripts to acts as connectors, that can be developed by 3rd party providers. Temboo has over 100 APIs in its library, while Webshell is just getting going with less than 25.

I see what Webshell, Temboo and Google are doing as similar to the aggregation, integration and some times automation we are seeing in other trending API areas, but these approaches are actually building languages that allow you to be more expressive with not just single APIs, but fluently with many APIs at once.

This area is new and emerging, and I’m still working to understand the different approaches. let me know if you if you have anything I should be looking at or other thoughts.  

More to come...




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